Sunday, February 12, 2006

Time to Break the Weakest Linc?

Last week, the Weekly Standard's Duncan Currie had a piece in the magazine (did not notice it on the Daily Standard) on the Laffey - Chafee row. A couple of insightful excerpts below:

Lincoln Chafee is often "the only Republican," or one of very few. He was the only Senate Republican to vote against the Iraq war resolution, and one of three to oppose a ban on partial-birth abortion. He was one of two Senate Republicans to vote against both of President Bush's principal tax cuts, in May 2001 and May 2003 (the other was John McCain). Just last week, he was the only Republican to vote against Sam Alito's confirmation to the Supreme Court.


Talk about an odd couple! The only thing Laffey and Chafee have in common is bulging bank accounts. But where Laffey is a former Wall Street whiz and self-made millionaire who never tires of discussing his up-by-the-bootstraps life story, Chafee comes from one of the "Five Families" that used to dominate Rhode Island politics. He is the son of the late governor-turned-senator John Chafee, and, to boot, he married into the Danforth family fortune. From there the contrasts only multiply. Laffey is a populist, Chafee a patrician. Laffey is garrulous, Chafee reserved. Laffey is blustery, Chafee soft-spoken. Laffey is a boat-rocker, Chafee a boat-steadier. While Laffey claims the support of "Reagan Democrats," Chafee is a throwback to the Rockefeller Republicans against whom Reagan rebelled.

Although Currie wimps out in the conclusion, his piece is still worth reading. Read the entire piece here.

The article concludes that if RI loses the currently "Republican" held seat to a Democrat, that "If we lose that seat, it'll be gone forever."

To which I say, unless Chafee is ousted, we will have a forever continuance of his blithering nonsense, and no chance to replace him with someone exceptional.

After the polling done last week by Brown University, many are coming to the conclusion that only Chafee could beat the stilted Sheldon Whitehouse or the obsequious Matt Brown. But I disagree, and think that the poll itself sets in place some of the perception. When the public sees Chafee fall, they will view Laffey as a giant killer, and Brown and Whitehouse will be swept away. Chafee has a lot of explaining to do to rank and file Republicans who will be voting in the primary. He may be trying to attract popular votes now with liberal positions, which I think is idiocy, but he's first got to win over Republicans. And by the way, how do you win over a population that has some italo-american audience by being the only Republican to oppose Alito and for no really apparent reason? Maybe he thinks there are too many on the court already?

Look. We have a fairly conservative Republican governor. How did that happen in this so-called "liberal" state? Think about the dynamics of Governor Carcieri's race - Carcieri was the outsider who did not have the entrenched Republican backing, and then consider what will happen after Laffey wins his primary. The races, in my opinion, are analogous. That's why the National Republican Senatorial Committee is making a huge error in supporting Chafee.

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